by Roxanne Tellier
Ahead of the mob violence on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, there had been weeks of incendiary rhetoric and planning in plain sight, on Facebook, Twitter, and on far-right websites like Parler, Gab, TheDonald, and MeWe. There had been a virtual social media landslide of conspiracy theories, disinformation, and lies about fraudulent voting, often coming directly from the POTUS and his favoured minions.
Prior to the insurrection, Advance Democracy had found more than 1,480 posts on Twitter from QAnon-related accounts, promoting violence. When it became clear that VP Pence was unable to overturn the results of the election, and unwilling to ‘try’ to do so, right-wing extremists began to plan the murder by hanging of Pence, whom they believed to be committing a traitorous refusal to act.
“Holt believes the key factor was the remarks from President Trump and his allies when they addressed the rally on Wednesday. When Trump told his supporters to head to the capital, Holt says, “I think the levee just broke.”
“If Trump had not told people to go to the Capitol, I don’t know that it would have happened. Because people on the ground were engaged in some pretty extreme rhetoric about coming back with guns if things don’t go their way, and stuff like that. But there wasn’t any real sort of significant action happening on the ground until Trump finished his speech.”“ from NPR’s reportage
Even the most casual observer of social media, anywhere on the planet, was aware of the potential for a political ‘incident’ occurring. But only those with the ability to stop anything serious from happening, turned a blind eye. Or did they?
“The attack on the Capitol was anything but unpredictable. It was incited, touted and trumpeted by the president of the United States, whose job is actually that of protecting his people from harm. It was Donald Trump who demanded on Wednesday midday that the vice president instigate a coup d’état. It was Trump himself who, speaking from a podium in front of the White House, encouraged his followers to march on the Capitol.” Der Spiegel, Germany.
I remind us of these facts to show that there is simply no way that anyone involved in the planning of security for the ceremonial certification of the Electoral College ballots would not be aware of the potential for serious violence on that day.
Washington’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser, put in a request on New Year’s Eve for a limited National Guard deployment, to patrol the streets from January 5th to 7th. A U.S. defense official approved that some 340 D.C. National Guard members would be activated, with about 115 on duty in the streets, but they would not be armed, or wearing body armour. Instead, they would be used to set up traffic control points around the city, for crowd management, and to stand with district police officers at all of the city’s Metro stops.
“Because D.C. does not have a governor, the designated commander of the city’s National Guard is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Any D.C. requests for Guard deployments have to be approved by him.
The defense official said that there will be no active-duty military troops in the city, and the U.S. military will not be providing any aircraft or intelligence. The official said there will be no D.C. Guard members on the National Mall or at the U.S. Capitol.” APNews.com
After a century or more of television and film extolling the foresight, intelligence, and ability of America’s top cops, military, and defense organizations to anticipate the potential for violence and chaos in the seat of American government, America was about to witness the complete failure of everyone involved, from the Pentagon and Department of Defense on down.
January 6, 2021 will be a day that goes down in infamy, right up there with 9/11, Pearl Harbour, and Kennedy’s assassination. Everyone will forever remember exactly where they were the day American democracy was breached by a gang of cos playing domestic terrorist insurrectionists.
Although it will likely be some time before we knew where, how, and by whom all the tangled webs were woven, it’s very clear that the match that lit the fuse was struck by the soon to be ex-president, trump, his son Donald Junior, Rudy Giuliani, and Congressman Mo Brooks. These four need to be charged with inciting violence, at the least.
Trump and his minions led a violent and deadly insurrection to overthrow the United States government. There are no stronger grounds for Impeachment and removal than that. The Rosenbergs did less, and were summarily executed.
But the fuse itself was crafted and laid by a young, brash senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley. Once the brightest light, and hot new thing on the Republican’s Christmas tree, he’s now Public Enemy Number One on Capitol Hill, has been denounced by the very people that worked to get him elected, been reviled in his own local newspaper, and has had his family home surrounded and his family terrorized by those who understand exactly what Hawley was attempting. Hawley himself, however, is shocked … SHOCKED I TELLS YOU … to discover that it doesn’t feel very nice when people are incited to attack, surround, and terrorize your home.
The Capitol Buildings are the People’s House. Turnabout, in this case, is karma.
Hawley was the first senator to sign on to the objection to the Electoral College certification ceremony. He knew, from the onset, that there would be no actual point to the objections, beyond removing the focus from Biden’s legitimate win, and thus shining a spotlight on trump’s made-up grievances and false, debunked claims about non-existent voter fraud. He calculated that this move would draw trump’s base to himself, with the knowledge that his actions could lead the most fervent trump supporters to act out their rage, violently, and en masse, during trump’s call to arms rally, pre-vote.
From the Kansas City Star’s op-ed, headlined “Assault on democracy: Sen Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt:
“No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway.
“This, Sen. Hawley, is what law-breaking and destruction look like. This is what mobs do. This is not a protest, but a riot. One woman was shot by Capitol Police in the chaos and died while lawmakers were sheltering in place.
“No longer can it be asked, as George Will did recently of Hawley, ‘Has there ever been such a high ratio of ambition to accomplishment?’ Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.”
Oh, certainly, there were others just as eager to risk it all for a scrap of trump’s mantle. But Hawley – young, smart, attractive, and cynical – was the one who publicly saluted the protestors and rioters with a fist pump as he walked outside the Capitol to object to the ceremonial counting of votes. Hawley knew that Mike Pence’s role in the role call was completely ceremonial, and that nothing Pence – or the objectors – did would do anything but ensure a very long, boring day for everyone in Chambers.
Or so it was hoped.
The purpose of Congress convening is only and simply the time mandated by the Constitution to formally tally the votes of the Electoral College. It’s not a time to litigate election matters.
But Hawley, and the Sedition Caucus of Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Cynthia M. Lummis, Tommy Tuberville, Steve Daines, John Neely Kennedy, Bill Hagerty, Mike Braun and Roger Marshall were determined – and succeeded – to make it a day that no one could ever forget, no matter how hard they tried.
And, even more importantly, each of these senators fundraised constantly on the back of their hypocrisy. Hawley sent out another fundraising appeal just an hour before the Capitol was stormed. Ted Cruz was doing the same, even as he cowered in fear as the insurrectionists sacked the Capitol.
Even days after the horror he helped to unleash, Hawley is still unable to understand what he did wrong. Strangely, the young man whose attendance and grades at Stanford and Yale Law School were pedestaled as exemplary, failed to actually read the Constitution to which he swore an oath to uphold.
Even more shockingly, after pro-trump extremists sacked the Capitol, bludgeoned a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher to gain entry, nearly crushed another police officer between two doors, and after a young woman was removed after being shot in the hallway for attempting to breach the Chamber, six senators sustained the challenge to Arizona’s results. Lawmakers had decided to reconvene and finish their Constitutional duties. Many of the Senate Republicans, shocked by the violence and chaos they’d just seen, abandoned plans to object.
But six persisted. Those six were Josh Hawley, who continued to insist that this was the time and place to raise his concerns; Ted Cruz, who urged his colleagues to disregard a lawful and fair election, and instead allow public opinion to dictate the winner; John Kennedy, who reiterated that his plans to raise objections during the proceedings were on behalf of his constituents; Cindy Hyde-Smith, known for such fulsome support for trump that she once told a supporter, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” That deluded crew was joined by Tommy Tuberville and Roger Marshall, both of whom are essentially no more than ‘hangers on.’
121 House members also supported the objection. House members also objected in the cases of Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, but as no senator joined in the objection, there were no debates. The only other state disputed with support from both chambers was Pennsylvania; 138 House members, all Republicans, supported the objection, as did seven senators: Cruz, Hawley, Hyde Smith, Cynthia Lummis, Marshall, Tuberville, and Rick Scott, of Florida.
And yet now, there is talk from the GOP of how we must enter a time of healing. The same senators, representatives, and soon to be ex-president, all of whom crossed the Rubicon into insurrection against their own government, believe this should now be a time when we all ‘come together.’
Apparently, immediately after nearly being murdered in the ransack of the Capitol wasn’t that time.
It was only when these seditionists and traitors realized that there would be consequences for their actions that they began to ask, however obliquely, for mercy.
I feel that many of those who participated in this plan believed that it would succeed. That can be the only explanation for actions so clearly contrary to the oaths the elected officials take, and the job descriptions of those who appear to have been complicit in allowing the carrying out of the raid. They hoped to overturn the government, and continue under the auspices of trump, as autocratic, unelected leader, at best – dictator of America at worst.
Every day a little more information on how many were involved emerges. The Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fundraising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, sent out robocalls encouraging people to march to the U.S. Capitol on the morning of January 6th.
“At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.
Police officers and at least one police chief from departments across the United States, including in California, Washington state, New Hampshire, Arizona and Texas are facing termination, suspension or other discipline for their proximity to or alleged involvement in the riot. Based on tips, social media posts, and other evidence, it is believed that many more officers will be implicated as well.
The links between law enforcement officers and white supremacist groups are long standing.
“That an angry mob of armed right-wing insurrectionists was able to so easily push itself into the U.S. Capitol is nightmarish on its face. But it may be a much darker fact to realize that quite so many people vested with the authority to kill others seem so willing to sympathize with those who dream of a violent revolt against the government.” … theappeal. Org
The Capitol police let the insurrectionists inside the gates. They took selfies with the rioters. And when it was over, they politely held the doors for these traitors to leave the building, unmolested. It was the very picture of collusion and complicity within those hallowed halls.
The Business Insider was told by multiple European security officials that trump appeared to have tacit support among US federal agencies that were responsible for securing the Capitol complex. This is critical information, because, even if untrue, some among America’s international military allies are now willing to believe that trump deliberately tried to violently overturn the election, with the help of federal law-enforcement, many of whose department heads he himself had put into places of leadership.
“Will the United States ever be able to recover from the ignominy of Jan. 6, 2021? It is difficult to imagine the country being able to present itself as the shining beacon of democracy in the coming years – if the country isn’t even able to stage a peaceful transfer of power. America will not be able to provide any advice to up-and-coming democratic leaders for as long as the images from Wednesday – which ex-President George W. Bush compared to a ‘banana republic’ – are in circulation.
The U.S. now finds itself facing a painful period of self-reflection. It would be too easy to merely blame Trump for the attempted coup. He does, of course, bear a lion’s share of the blame for the attack on the Capitol for his full-throated claims that the election was stolen from him. But the pack would not have been so ready to participate in sedition had Trump not had such a committed coterie of abettors at his side during his entire term in office – a team of lackeys who played a significant role in the dismantling of democracy in America. “ Der Spiegel
There will be no healing in America until all of those who instigated this traitorous insurrection admit publicly, and in writing, that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, freely and fairly, and that NO ONE in America is above the law, including their POTUS.
Every person involved must be routed out, and must pay the price for their part in this seditious attempt to bring down their government. And trump must be impeached, and never again allowed near any kind of position of power in the United States.